Xiaomi Mi 4s review: Pushing forward

Pushing forward

GSMArena team, 28 March, 2016.


The Xiaomi Mi 4s went official hours before the Mi 5, a teaser of sorts for the headliner. It even made the trip to Barcelona but enjoyed little of the spotlight for obvious reasons. This is the fourth installment in the Mi 4 lineup - hardly breaking news in a week full of high-profile announcements. Yet, we bet the new Xiaomi flagship wouldn't mind repeating the success of a predecessor that spawned quite the offspring.

A year and a half separates the Mi 4 and the incumbent Mi 5 flagship - the time in-between was filled with a couple of phablets, including the Quad-HD Xiaomi Mi Note Pro, and a couple of Mi 4 modifications. The Xiaomi Mi 4 turned out quite a popular device, and the company was keen to use the flagship momentum in the midrange Mi 4i and Mi 4c versions.

Meanwhile, the Redmi Note series too made themselves comfortable in the midrange, and now Xiaomi fills an upper midrange spot with the Mi 4s. It builds on the Mi 4c with premium looks, more storage, more RAM, and more battery capacity, and flaunts a new fingerprint scanner at the back.

Xiaomi Mi 4s review

Xiaomi is sticking to the dual-glass design in both the flagship Mi 5 and the Mi 4s. Compared to the Mi 5, the Mi 4s uses a different kind of metal frame sprayed with zircon sand for a pleasant soft touch and improved grip.

Before we get into details, let's take a closer look at the spec sheet, shall we?

Key features

  • 5" IPS LCD display of 1080p resolution; 441ppi;
  • Snapdragon 808 chipset with hexa-core processor (2x Cortex-A57 at 1.82GHz, 4x Cortex-A53 at 1.44GHz); Adreno 418 GPU; 3GB RAM
  • 13MP f/2.0 main camera with phase detect autofocus, dual-tone LED flash; 1080p video at 30fps;
  • 5MP f/2.0 front-facing camera, 1080p video recording at 30fps
  • Cat.4 4G LTE (150Mbps); Dual-SIM; Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; Bluetooth 4.1; GPS, GLONASS and Beidou; IR blaster
  • Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner
  • 64GB storage, expandable via a microSD slot
  • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop with MIUI 7
  • 3,260 mAh non-removable battery, fast charging

Main disadvantages

  • Limited regional availability
  • Hybrid microSD/SIM slot - memory card uses SIM 2 slot, can't have both simultaneously
  • Sealed battery
  • No FM radio

Xiaomi hasn't done anything unusual with the Mi 4S - after all, the flagship understandably received more attention. The re-design works quite well though and the hexa-core chipset is a sensible choice considering the phone's standing in the pecking order. Its productivity should be comparable to a Snapdragon 650, power efficiency in favor of the 20nm Snapdragon 808.

Xiaomi Mi 4s review

As usual with Xiaomi, the sealed battery and the shared SIM / MicroSD card slot shouldn't be unexpected. We hope the Mi 4s lives up to its legacy and, well, keep the surprises mostly pleasant. Let's see how the things turn out this time - our hardware tour starts right after the break.

Special thanks to HonorBuy.com for providing us with this review unit.

Reader comments

  • surya
  • 05 Jul 2017
  • YPe

how to youse mi phone for playstore?

  • Anonymous
  • 08 Jan 2017
  • YTd

Mi 4s not available in indian market ....

  • al
  • 16 Dec 2016
  • vV5

my mi 4s only took 1.25 min to fully charge